John Adams was killed when Tennessee police raided the 61-year-old man’s house by accident, shooting him and handcuffing his wife.
Police were really looking for Adams’ next-door neighbor when they raided his house instead on Wednesday night. Police admitted the mistake, saying they got some bad information from a drug informant.
“We did the best surveillance we could do, and a mistake was made,” Lebanon Police Chief Billy Weeks said. “It’s a very severe mistake, a costly mistake. It makes us look at our own policies and procedures to make sure this never occurs again.”
But Weeks isn’t placing blame on the two officers who shot Adams. The officers, 25-year-old Kyle Shedran and 24-year-old Greg Day, have been placed on administrative leave with pay.
John Adams was at his home watching television when someone began pounding on his door. Police said they were wearing police jackets and identified themselves as officers, but Adams’ wife Loraine disputes their account of events.
“I thought it was a home invasion. I said ‘Baby, get your gun!,’ ” Loraine Adams told ABC News from her home as she prepared for her husband’s funeral.
That is just what John Adams did. After his wife’s warning, he retrieved a sawed-off shotgun to confront what he though were burglars. Police say he fired at them, and they responded with at least three shots of their own. Adams was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville where he later died.
In the confusion after the shooting, police handcuffed Loraine Adams and threw her to her knees.
“I said, ‘Y’all have got the wrong person, you’ve got the wrong place. What are you looking for?’ ” she recalled.
This is not the first case where police raided the wrong house. In August in Buffalo, New York, officers executed a search warrant on the wrong home and killed the owner’s black Labrador Retriever.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is looking into how police raided the wrong house and killed John Adams. NAACP officials are also monitoring the case, but the Adams family said they don’t believe race was a factor. Adams was black, and the two officers are white.